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Prosecutor May Testify In Drunk Driving Case Regarding Reliability of the Tests

Harris County District Attorney Pat Lykos was called to testify Thursday in an ongoing drunk driving trial because she made public comments regarding the accuracy of BAC results from the Houston Police Department. Apparently, Lykos made comments about the doubt of the BAT vans and their reliability. That police department has a poor reputation for it's troubled mobile breath testing vehicles. The prosecutor's office is currently the target of a grand jury investigation regarding drunk driving prosecutions and the testing. The Defense attorney in the current drunk driving trial stated, "If they're so unreliable, then why are you prosecuting someone with evidence you deem unreliable?"

In a rare legal move, Judge John Clinton ruled Thursday that the prosecutor's opinions on the breath-alcohol testing vehicles, are relevant in the drunk driving trial and therefore is allowed testify. In other words, it may turn out that an assistant district attorney, who is under Lykos's authority, may cross examine Lykos. Interesting. However, it is doubtful the Lykos will actually testify. Rather, her statements will be heard by the jurors via the subpoenaed recording of the Lykos interview made by the television station.

The testimony could affect many drunk driving cases in the area, both past , current, and future. Lykos and other prosecutors had doubts about the tests' accuracy while prosecuting past drunk driving cases, but failed to alert the defense lawyers on the cases.

Many DUI defense lawyers in Kansas have little trust in the Breathalyzer commonly used in drunk-drivng cases here, the Intoxilyzer 8000. As a Kansas criminal defense lawyer, I have defended numerous DUI charges where the reliability of the Intoxilyzer 8000 is a real issue.